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Forest for the Trees

NW Brings More Public Art to Portland

Photos by Anton Legoo of the Portland Street Art Alliance

Portland got a huge influx of murals last month, thanks to the second annual Forest for the Trees NW. The not-for-profit public art project brought 20 local and international artists together. They spent a week gracing local walls with 20 new murals. 

Gage Hamilton, a muralist and native Portlander, started the project last year. He wanted Portland’s walls to be as colorful as those in other cities he’d visited in his world travels.  Hamilton partnered with Matt Wagner, owner of Hellion Gallery. They contacted other mural painters, and pretty soon had drummed up considerable interest. 

Forest for the Trees NW brings together experienced and newer artists. Two mural artists, DALeast and Faith47 came all the way from Tokyo. DALeast was born in China and has painted murals around the world, including in Namibia, Israel, France, Australia and Switzerland. Faith47 is known for her multimedia pieces, which incorporate spray paint, graphite, ink, oil paint, found objects and collage. Other artists came from Tokyo, Rio, Philadelphia, Mexico City, San Francisco, Seattle, Oakland and New York. 

Portland artists were well represented. Locals Blaine Fontana, Blakely Dadson, J. Shea, Gage Hamilton, Jeremy Nicholson, Maryanna Hoggatt, Paige Wright, Souther Salazar, Rather Severe, The Lost Cause and Zachary Yarrington participated. 

Five of this year’s murals were partially funded by the Regional Arts and Culture Council’s Public Art Murals Program. Most of the new murals are on the Portland’s East Side.

The Portland Street Art Alliance celebrated the new murals by hosting a guided bike tour. They were kind enough to share Anton Legoo’s bike tour photos with UAN for this post. If you missed their tour, it’s not too late to take your own. Fall is the perfect time to follow the map below for your own self-guided bike tour of Portland’s newest public art. 

For more information on the Portland Street Art Alliance, see:

More info on Forest for the Trees NW:

—Post by Teresa Bergen,